2012 Great American Beer Festival Post Event Sustainability Overview
A sustainability program uses several indicators to evaluate a program’s year to year growth. These indicators include the diversion rate (or the percent of material diverted from the landfill), the total material kept out of the landfill in weight, partner relationships, volunteers, and more. The 2012 program saw overall movement towards a better and stronger GABF sustainability program. While our diversion rate decreased by 8%, our total material recycled and composted increased 22%. More evaluation and explanation of the numbers are in the section below.
Through the wrap-up and evaluation process between the GABF sustainability team and the Colorado Convention Center we discovered avenues to build a stronger sustainability program. Most notably, we implemented new procedures to better prepare ourselves for this expanding program, one that saw an increase of 37% of total material in 2012, 22% of that was recyclable and compostable material.
Waste Diversion for 2012 GABF
Trash, compactor #42, Waste Management: 2 hauls- 6.36, 1.59 tons
Recycle, compactor #33, Waste Management: 4 hauls – 4.51, 4.99,3.95,3.18 tons
Plastic Film Recycle, Alpine Waste and Recycling: 1 haul – .60 tons
Compost, Alpine Waste and Recycling: 1 haul – 1.49 tons
Total Material (including waste) = 26.7 tons Total Material Diverted from the Landfill though Recycling and Composting = 18.72 tons
2012 GABF Diversion Rate = 70.11%
A Passion Towards a Low Impact Great American Beer Festival
Each year the GABF makes every attempt to lessen its impact through innovative sustainability programs. 2013 will mark the sixth year of sustainability initiatives. We continue to realize strategies that lower the environmental impact though waste reduction, resource recovery, energy use and education. Our partnerships with ZeroHero, Colorado Convention Center, Centerplate Catering, Governors Energy Office, and the Colorado Carbon Fund, we aim to continue efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. Program components include:
Disposable items at GABF will be recyclable or compostable. We will again use compostable water cups, plates and utensils. As always, your beer glass is reusable, and we hope you will use it for many years to come.
- YOU, the attendee can help “green” the GABF. Please help us by putting ‘waste in its place’ and visiting the ZeroHero tents located throughout the festival to recycle or compost your waste. A friendly volunteer will greet you to help determine what goes where.
- In order to reduce waste, we encourage you to reuse your GABF beer glass in between tastings at one of the many water stations located throughout the festival. If you have to use one of the cups provided at the water station, make sure it ends up in the compost when you are finished.
- All glass and plastic bottles, cans, paper and cardboard will be recycled.
- Comprehensive pre and post festival recycling program
- The use of styrofoam at food outlets in the event has been banned.
- Bulk condiments will be used at concession areas.
- All compost will be processed by A1 Organics located in Platteville, CO. This is a permitted commercial composting facility and will mix GABF compost with other food waste, animal waste, yard waste and wood chips. Within 90 days this compost will become a rich soil amendment.
- GABF will be part of the Green Meetings Industry Council’s goal to divert one million tons of trash from the landfill.
What’s New in 2013?
GABF sustainability is committed to keeping up our diversion rate to over 70% with a goal of reaching the outstanding benchmark of 80% in 2013. By increasing the frequency we haul recycling from the Colorado Convention Center during the Festival, and by exploring partnerships with glass only haulers, we hope to divert 100% of glass from the landfill in 2013. We expect too see another spike in the amount of overall material (a 37% increase last year) and are preparing to capture, separate and haul all recyclables and compost from the GABF.
A new and exciting change in the GABF sustainability program in 2013 is the inclusion of non-profit partners that will be leading our education effort. Each ZeroHero station will have a trained educator that can help our attendees to put “waste in its place.”
The GABF sustainability program is already one of the leading programs in the country. We’re excited by the prospect of another year of growth, learning, and waste diversion in 2013. Thanks for your support!
A Reduced Carbon Footprint
- Offset your carbon to and from the festival by calculating your footprint with the Denver Event CO2e Emissions Calculation Tool and offsetting your carbon through the Colorado Carbon Fund.
- GABF has offset our carbon footprint through the Colorado Carbon Fund. Donations help fund carbon mitigation and community benefit projects right here in Colorado.
- Hybrid taxis will be available after each session as part of the GABF move toward sustainability.
- House lights will be kept at 50% during the show.
People, Planet, Passion
The word “sustainability” made its way from the margins to the mainstream sometime around Al Gore’s laser pointed Oscar Winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Several years earlier forward thinking businesses began to explore “greener” ways of running a company. Accordingly, the triple bottom line, one of the first measures of what sustainability stood for floated around water coolers and became a guideline for the new movement. The triple bottom line, also known as people, planet and profits describes a balanced boardroom where environmental, social considerations, and solid economics survive under one roof.
We asked a few of breweries why they’ve taken up the cause of sustainability. Thanks to Katie Wallace, New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Colorado, Liz Melby, Harpoon Brewery, Boston, Massachusetts and Chris Cochran,Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, California for their contribution.